One of the biggest decisions couples make when planning their wedding is what kind of music they’ll play. The songs you choose will determine the feel of your entire event, but more importantly, so will the way you choose to play them. While a DJ may be the right choice for a more laid-back wedding, formal nuptials may call for a live band. Not sure which one fits your style? We’ve broken down the whole band vs. DJ debate for you here.
A live band is the classic choice for your wedding music. This typically gives your event a more formal feel, which can be especially good for black tie or semi-formal weddings. And because the band members are present for your entire wedding, they can easily adapt to changing situations. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of hiring live music for your wedding:
A band makes your wedding feel more formal and upscale, while a DJ could make your guests feel like they’re at a club. Live bands can improvise more easily than a DJ can — like throwing in an extended horns riff mid-song if your new brother-in-law is really getting down. Great lead singers are usually great MCs, too. They’ve already commanded your crowd’s attention with their tunes, and they can do it just as well when they introduce toasts and first dances.
Live bands take up more space than a DJ, especially if you add extra members (like a female vocalist, backup singers, or a horn section). This may put you in a bind if you’re working with a very small venue. Live bands can be a little pricier than most wedding DJs, but there are exceptions to every rule. Bands tend to have a more limited song list than most DJs, who can play nearly any song you want. However, most bands still have an extensive song list to work with (ours includes more than 130 songs that we perform constantly).
DJs are often more affordable than a band because they’re a single person with less equipment, but the monetary savings don’t always pay off. DJs often come prepared with a set playlist, which cuts down a bit on their ability to improvise. And because they’re busy playing music, you may need to engage someone else for MC duties. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of hiring a DJ for your wedding:
DJs are often a bit less expensive than a live band, which is good if you need to stick to a very tight wedding planning budget. DJs come with less equipment, which is good for smaller venues or larger crowds. DJs can find and play just about any track you request, though they may need advance warning.
Because they come with a set playlist, DJs usually cannot improvise as quickly as a live band can. DJs have to use speakers, which may not be allowed at certain outdoor venues. DJing an event is a full-time job, which means you may need to hire a second person to perform MC duties, like introducing toasts and dances.
Looking for a live band for your wedding?
If a live wedding band sounds like what you want for your wedding day, we’d love to help. Check out our previous blog on how to choose the right band for your wedding, or feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.